1970 in Ireland

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Brian Faulkner
Brian Faulkner, NI Minister for Development
January: A massive anti-Apartheid demonstration took place as Ireland played South Africa in the Rugby Union.

Sinn Féin split into Official and Provisional wings.

February: Northern Ireland Prime Minister Chichester-Clark and Brian Faulkner, Minister for Development, met with the British Home Secretary James Callaghan to discuss economic matters.

March: In Northern Ireland, the Police (Northern Ireland) Act became law. It provided for the disarmament of the RUC and the creation of an RUC reserve force. It also established the Police Authority of Northern Ireland which was meant to contain representatives from across the community, but failed to attract representatives from the main nationalist parties.

April: Garda Richard Fallon was killed in Dublin, the first garda to be killed in the Republic as a result of the conflict in the North of Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, Ian Paisley won a by-election, and the Alliance Party was founded. The B-Specials were officially disbanded.

Taoiseach Jack Lynch presented the budget in the absence of Finance Minister Charles Haughey who had been injured that morning in a riding accident.

Member of the RUC
Member of the RUC
Charles Haughey
Charles Haughey, Minister for Finance
May: Micheál Ó Móráin, Minister for Justice, resigned on health grounds. The Taoiseach said that his condition was 'not unassociated with the shock he suffered as a result of the killing of Garda Fallon'.

On May 6th the Arms Crisis occurred. The Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, asked his Minister for Finance Charles Haughey and the Minister for for Neil Blaney to resign over allegations that they had attempted to import arms for use by the Provisional IRA. Minister for Local Government Kevin Boland resigned in sympathy with them.

On May 27th, Captain James Kelly, Albert Luykx and John Kelly were arrested, accused of conspiracy to import arms. The following day, Haughey, Blaney, Luykx and Kelly appeared in court to be charged with the arms offences.

In Northern Ireland, the Macrory Report was published. It recommended abolishing the old structure of local government and replacing it with district councils.

June:  Kevin Boland was expelled from Fianna Fáil.

Bishops meeting at Maynooth discussed lifting the ban on Catholics attending Trinity College, Dublin.

Five people, including two young girls, were killed in Derry when a bomb being made by the girls' father, an IRA activist, exploded prematurely. The girls were the first females to die in the current conflict.

Serious sectarian rioting and gun battles occurred in Belfast.

July: Neil Blaney was cleared of all arms charges.

On the 3rd of July the Falls Road curfew took place. The British army searched houses for members of the IRA.

On the 23rd July, the Stormont government announced a ban on parades until January 1971.

Soldiers enforce the Falls Road curfew
British soldiers during the Falls Road curfew

SDLP Conference including John Hume and Gerry Fitt
SDLP Conference including John Hume and Gerry Fitt
August: The Galway-Aran air service was launched.

In Northern Ireland, the Social Democratic and Labour Party was formed under the leadership of Gerry Fitt. On the 10th of August, the British Home Secretary Reginald Maulding had threatened to bring Northern Ireland under direct rule if reforms were not carried out.

Rubber baton rounds were introduced in Northern Ireland.

September: The New University of Ulster was presented with a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth II.

On the 14th, the Economic Council for Northern Ireland held its first meeting.

October: US President Richard Nixon visited Ireland, to be greeted by Taoiseach Jack Lynch. Anti-Vietnam War protests took place in Dublin. Mrs Nixon visited her ancestral home in County Mayo.

In Northern Ireland, the SDLP proposed a system of proportional representation. The Electoral Reform Society backed up this proposal.

On October 23rd, Charles Haughey, James Kelly, Albert Luykx and John Kelly were acquitted in the Arms Conspiracy Trial.

The Taoiseach said there would be no fundamental change in Fianna Fáil's policy towards Northern Ireland.

On the 30th of October, serious rioting took place in the Ardoyne area of Belfast which was to continue for three nights. Prime Minister Chichester-Clark met with the British Home Secretary Reginald Maudling to discuss the situation.

Richard Nixon in Ireland
Richard Nixon visits Ireland
Ryan's Daughter film poster
Ryan's Daughter film poster
November: Ryan's Daughter, filmed largely in Ireland, was released.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive was formed to try to end discrimination in housing.

The IRA carried out its first killing of people allegedly involved in anti-social behaviour.

Aer Lingus took delivery of its first Boeing 747.

The Northern Ireland government accepted the Macrory Report on  local government reform.

Notable births in Ireland

Rónán Ó Snodaigh, musician
Rónán Ó Snodaigh
January 1st
Edward Olive, actor
Edward Olive
January 4th
Ciarán Carey, hurler
Ciarán Carey
January 16th
Sharon Corr, musician
Sharon Corr
March 24th
Glen Hansard, singer/songwriter
Glen Hansard
April 21st
Serena Armstrong-Jones, Viscountess Linley
Serena Armstrong-Jones
May 1st
Mick Fitzgerlad, jockey
Mick Fitzgerald
May 10th
Glenn Quinn, actor
Glenn Quinn
May 27th
Mary Kingston, TV presenter
Mary Kingston
May 29th
Stephen Geoghegan, soccer player
Stephen Geoghegan
June 3rd
Tony O'Dowd, soccer player
Tony O'Dowd
July 6th
Siobhán Hoey, athlete
Siobhán Hoey
July 17th
Jeff Kenna, football manager
Jeff Kenna
August 27th
Tommy Tiernan, comedian, actor and writer
Tommy Tiernan
November 3rd
Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, TV personality
Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh
November 12th
Brian Kehoe, software developer and author
Brian Kehoe
December 3rd
Craig Doyle, TV presenter
Craig Doyle
December 17th
John Moore, director, producer and writer
John Moore
Aidan McArdle, actor
Aidan McArdle
Samantha Power, foreign policiy specialist
Samantha Power
Ruth Turner, political advisor
Ruth Turner
David Wheatley, poet
David Wheatley

Notable Deaths in Ireland

Name Date of death Age Details

Cyril Fagan 5th January 73 Astrologer
Peter J. Ward 6th January 78 Member of the First Dáil
David P. Tyndall 6th January 79 Businessman
Gerard Sweetman 28th January 61 Fine Gael TD and Cabinet Minister
Cahir Healy 8th February 92 Nationalist Party MP
Patrick Lenihan 11th March 67 Fianna Fáil TD
Arthur Shields 27th April 74 Actor
Bobby Kirk 11th July 60 Ice hockey player
Joseph Blowick 12th August 67 TD and Cabinet Minister
Tommy Henderson 14th August (93) Ulster independent Unionist politician
Leo Rowsome 20th September 67 Teacher, player and maker of uilleann pipes
James Ryan 25th September 78 Fianna Fáil TD, Member of 1st Dáil and Cabinet Minister
Mark Killilea, Snr 29th September (74) Fianna Fáil TD and Senator
Liam Ó Buachalla 15th October (71) Fianna Fáil Senator
Tom Farquharson - (70) Soccer player
Máirtín Ó Cadhain - (63) Irish language writer
Enid Starkie - (73) Literary critic and biographer

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